Winners of the 2009 New Zealand Sport and Recreation Sector Awards

Tuesday 28 April 2009, 11:57AM

Three leaders in sport and recreation have been honoured for their dedication and long-term service, while excellence across the sector has also been recognised in the inaugural Sport and Recreation Sector Awards.

Lois Muir OBE DCNZM, Peter Fitzsimmons OBE, and Ralph Roberts MBE have received Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Sir Wilson Whineray, who led the independent judging panel, said the award winners thoroughly deserved to be recognised by their peers in this way.

``These three individuals are passionate and dedicated New Zealanders who have made an enormous contribution as sportspeople and sports administrators,’’ Sir Wilson said.

Awards have also been presented to recognise excellence in innovation, leadership, events, project collaboration and commercial partnership.

SPARC chief executive Peter Miskimmin said that the sport and recreation sector had many people and organisations making outstanding contributions, and the awards had been designed to recognise this.

``The quality of those vying for the awards was incredible and I didn’t envy the tough job the judges had in deciding the winners. But it goes to show how privileged we in New Zealand are to have such capable people running organisations dedicated to delivering the best in sport and recreation,’’ Miskimmin said.

As well as the Lifetime Achievement Awards, other awards presented were:

The Innovation Award – Mates in Bowls, Bowls New Zealand

The judges said Bowls New Zealand had overcome initial resistance from some clubs to introduce Mates in Bowls but said the initiative had been successful in encouraging younger players to enjoy lawn bowls and bring in new revenue to clubs.

The Leadership Award – Kerry Clark OBE, chief executive Bowls New Zealand

The judges said Clark had delivered a landmark year for Bowls New Zealand with his stewardship of the 2008 World Bowls Championships, the introduction of the Mates in Bowls initiative to encourage new players to the sport, and his vision for a regional and club structure able to cater for the increase in casual and corporate players.

The Event Excellence Award – Football New Zealand, FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup

The judges said Football New Zealand delivered something special when meeting FIFA’s exacting requirements for hosting the FIFA U17 Women’s Football World Cup. It mobilised a huge number of volunteers, attracted extensive media coverage, drew record crowds for women’s sport and left a strong legacy for women’s football and for New Zealand in hosting major events.

The Project Collaboration Award – Project Energize

The judges said Project Energize was an exceptional collaboration and a standout entry in this category. Project Energize involves a number of partners working together to help the children of the Waikato. Project Energize has a network of health and activity school advisors who are now involved with 245 schools.

The Commercial Partnership Award

The judges said Triathlon New Zealand and Contact Energy identified significant benefits when collaborating together in a commercial partnership. Triathlon New Zealand gained a commercial partner in Contact Energy which could leverage off its association with the national sporting body while Triathlon New Zealand was able to benefit from the association without compromising its own brand or strategic objectives.

For further information contact Sue Eden on 021 490 797 ( ) or John Tulloch 021 953 349 ( )